Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum
Issue 3.2022
2022.01.17 — 2022.01.23
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
BRICS S&T 2022: India's chairship to host 5 international events (BRICS S&T 2022: под председательством Индии пройдет 5 международных мероприятий) / India, January, 2022
Keywords: chairmanship, top_level_meeting

During the 15th meeting of the BRICS Science Technology Innovation (STI) Steering Committee on 17 January, India successfully handed over the BRICS Chairmanship to China from January 2022. India will host five international events throughout the year. The five high-level events are BRICS Startups Forum's Working Groups meeting on Energy; Biotechnology & Biomedicine; ICT & High-Performance Computing and the STIEP (Science, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Partnership) Working Group Meeting, which will also witness the launch of BRICS innovation launchpad as a microsite (Knowledge Hub).

The theme for BRICS 2022 is "Foster High-Quality BRICS Partnership Usher in a New Era for Global Development". A series of sectoral events and meetings, consisting of Minister level and BRICS Summit, will be organized during the year. The Calendar of BRICS STI activities and expected deliverables are discussed at the virtually organized meeting.

India as host of BRICS Summit 2021

Although the 13th BRICS Summit was held under India's Chairship on 09 September 2021. It was the third time India hosted the BRICS Summit after 2012 and 2016. Its theme was BRICS @ 15: Intra-BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus.

As the world is resolving some disputes because of the pandemic and its variants induced crisis and opportunities, BRICS S&T 2022 also would happen virtually. Hence, we look back at the journey spanned thus far since the first meeting of BRIC Foreign Ministers on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York in 2006 to inspect the achievements and contributions of BRICS to the global agenda and also to national growth stories of India.

Certainly, it is a matter of great pride that BRICS has been an ideal of multilateralism based on equality, mutual respect and trust. The journey of the BRICs began with a meeting of the Political heads (leaders) of Brazil, Russia, India and China in St Petersburg, Russia, in July 2006. It was a G8 Outreach Summit then. In September 2006, the group was made official, and the first official meeting of the foreign ministers was held. It led to the first-ever BRIC Summit held in Russia on 16 June 2009. South Africa became part of the organization in 2011. It is the only African country that is included in the list. South Africa attended the 3rd BRICS Summit in Sanya, China, on 14 April 2011.

Achievements of BRICS

BRICS assembles the major emerging economies of the world that comprise 41% of the world's total population. The countries embrace 24% of the world's GDP and more than 16% of the trade in the world. These have formed a Contingent Reserve Arrangement. And the major achievements comprise the establishment of the New Development Bank. It is a substitute for the World Bank. The BRICS nations have a global plan known as the Brasilia Declaration. BRICS nations deliberate on important issues under the three pillars of political and security, economic and financial and cultural and people to people exchanges.

The themes of every summit reflect the approach to strengthen the founding principles of BRICS cooperation based on continuity, consolidation and consensus. As Chair, India had worked on specific deliverables across all three pillars of intra-BRICS cooperation in 2021.

Political and Security: To enrich cooperation and dialogue on global and regional security issues developments in the global political space for peace, security, and prosperity. The priorities for this pillar were: Reform of the Multilateral System and Counter Terrorism Cooperation.

Economic and Financial: To boost economic growth and development for mutual prosperity through expanding intra-BRICS cooperation in segments like trade, agriculture, infrastructure, small and medium enterprises, energy and finance & banking. Recognizing the miracles of using technological and digital solutions for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in BRICS countries with a special emphasis on Implementation of the BRICS Economic Partnership Strategy 2020-25, Operationalization of the BRICS Agriculture Research Platform, Cooperation on Disaster Resilience, Innovation Cooperation, and Digital Health and Traditional Medicine.

Cultural and People to People: To qualitatively enrich and enhance intra-BRICS people to people contacts in cultural, sports, academic, youth, business through common exchanges. Exchanges among Parliamentarians, young scientists etc., were also carried out.

The anticipation from BRICS 2022

The BRICS STI Steering Committee meeting was attended by representatives from BRICS scientific ministries foreign Missions. From the Indian side, the meeting was led by Shri Sanjeev Kumar Varshney, Advisor & Head International Cooperation, Department of Science and Technology.

Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is the main executing agency for BRICS startups Forum and innovation knowledge hub creation. During the meeting organized virtually, the Chinese side presented a broad outline of activities to be enacted during the whole year. It mainly embraces thematic meetings, BRICS Young Scientist Conclave, Senior official, and Ministerial level meetings. A total of 25 events have been intended, of which India will host a total of five. The BRICS Young Scientist Conclave will be organized in September 2022 in a virtual format, and the thematic focus may be Carbon peak neutralization; Biomedicine, Artificial Intelligence, Material Science, Modern Agriculture.

China will host the 10th BRICS S&T Ministerial meeting and Senior Official Meeting in September 2022. The meeting theme would endorse Open, Inclusive, and Shared Science, Technology, and Innovation. At the sideline of the Ministerial meeting, an exhibition will be organized showcasing outcomes of successful projects reinforced under the BRICS Framework Programme (2015-2022).

For the finalization of the BRICS Calendar of scientific events and programs, all countries will notify the meeting's specific dates, venue, and format. India tentatively showed a willingness to host the STIEP working group meeting on 23rd – 24th March 2022 and BRICS Startups Forum Meeting in May/June 2022.
[Abstract] Russia's foreign policy performance in 2021 (Отрывок статьи, посвященной результатам внешней политики России в 2021 году) / Russia, January, 2022
Keywords: sergey_lavrov, quotation

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks and answers to media questions at a news conference on Russia's foreign policy performance in 2021, Moscow, January 14, 2022.

Question: How do you see the future of Russia-India relations? What are the results of President Putin's visit to India? Will the RIC (Russia-India-China) summit be held amid the tensions on the Indian-Chinese border?

Sergey Lavrov: In December 2021, President Vladimir Putin visited New Delhi. The coronavirus pandemic very much hinders direct dialogue. In this case, all the necessary conditions were met. President Putin and Prime Minister Modi were able to hold productive talks. We highly value our relationship. It is no coincidence that they are called a specially privileged strategic partnership. We will develop it to the fullest.

There is a Russia-India-China (RIC) troika, the forerunner of BRICS, which has become a household name. Little is said about RIC now, but it is a very effective entity. The foreign ministers have met almost 20 times over the time of its existence. There are sectoral meetings of ministers, deputy ministers and experts in trade, economic and cultural cooperation. Russia, India and China participate in BRICS and the SCO. Starting from January 1, 2022, the three countries will be members of the UN Security Council for the next two years. We see the interest of our Indian and Chinese friends in preserving and expanding this format.

There is a direct dialogue between India and China on many issues, including security. There is a Declaration on Strategic Partnership between India and China. If RIC can be useful for improving the atmosphere of trust, we will strongly support it. In addition to the political aspect, all three countries constitute a single geographical area. The troika engages in promising economic and investment plans.
South Africa Today: Opportunities and Challenges (Южная Африка сегодня: возможности и вызовы) / Russia, January, 2022
Keywords: expert_opinion

By Alexandra Arkhangelskaya

Despite political and accelerating socio-economic uncertainties, South Africa is still a destination of leadership and the driver of economic growth in the region and on the continent, while Africa is becoming even a more attractive zone of strategic interests for old and emerging power poles, writes Valdai Club expert Alexandra Arkhangelskaya.

Since the end of apartheid, a core strategy of South Africa's foreign policy has been to position itself as not only a voice for less influential African and developing countries, but also as a leader in shaping strategic alliances to voice and advance their common interests in global fora and negotiations. The history of South Africa is replete with events and facts that have resonated far beyond the continent; the historical development of this country has its own special distinctive features.

However, over the past years, South Africa has largely failed to meet its declared goals and implement its full international potential. It has missed out on some strategic opportunities, which has led to a decline in the country's role and influence, both regionally and on a continental and global scale.

In this light, it's important to understand and analyse a number of processes and events that did not get as much attention or feature as prominently as BRICS or Pretoria's foreign policy ambitions but in many ways represent the character and scope of South Africa's situation today.

South Africa has enjoyed political stability and relative macroeconomic stability since apartheid fell and its first democratic elections were held in 1994, but now it is facing increasingly strong headwinds that became even more evident and menacing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it remains the most advanced, diversified, and productive economy in Africa, with a population of over 58 million and 1.22 million square kilometres, and is the world's largest producer of platinum, vanadium, chromium, and manganese, South Africa is undergoing many significant challenges.

Since 1994, South Africa's per capita GDP, compared to the rest of the world, has deteriorated by approximately 20% in relative terms. In 1994, per capita GDP was close to 85% of the world's per capita GDP. Today, it is closer to 60%. Even when compared to the rest of Africa, South African figures have deteriorated. In 1994, per capita GDP was 2.6 times that of the rest of Africa. South Africa remains much richer than the rest of Africa, but is less so than it was in 1994.

The economy expanded by 0.8 percent in 2018 and by 0.2 percent to 350 billion US dollars in 2019. However, the Covid-19 pandemic led to a 7% contraction to 302 billion US dollars in 2020; as a result, GDP per capita has dropped to 2005 levels. Inflation is low and interest rates are at record lows. While the pre-Covid 19 nominal unemployment rate was above 29%, in the first quarter of 2021, according to Stats SA data, unemployment hit a record high, with 32.6% of South Africans jobless. For young people, the situation is especially dire, with nearly half of the country's youth unable to find jobs despite their eligibility to join the workforce. Due to the poor state of the public education system, skilled labour can be difficult to find in many technical and professional sectors, regardless of steadily increasing unemployment. In addition, HIV/AIDS affects approximately one in ten South Africans, with negative implications for labour availability, productivity, and healthcare costs.

The results of the recent municipal elections underscored a low level of trust, not only in the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, which received 45.59% of the vote (for the first time since 1994), and the rest of the 325 parties that took part, but in the state as a whole: voter turnout hit a record low of 45.87%. There were outbursts of social unrest in July 2021, and as many as 15 million mainly unskilled and illegal migrants have arrived from neighbouring countries, leading to crime and xenophobia. The level of corruption is unprecedented, and the government has been incapable of maintaining order and holding those responsible accountable. Load shedding has started to regularly deprive communities that have electricity and water of these for a minimum of 2 hours per day. A special app, Eskom se Push, from the state-owned company Eskom, which is in deep financial trouble aside from the power cuts, pings warning alerts and a schedule of the power cuts throughout the country. There are related infrastructural dilemmas: for instance, South Africa's once-strong railway network is nearly destroyed; 35% of train stations have no electricity at all and overhead cables are constantly being stolen — signalling wires and catenary masts, affecting every route.

An important issue regarding foreign policy is reputation, and a country's capability to deliver. Since the early 2000s, South Africa's international standing has significantly declined. The value-based and innovative foreign policy that earned South Africa its reputation, with a number of impressive accomplishments in the areas of global governance, regional leadership, peacekeeping, and international norm-based entrepreneurship, has been replaced by a more transactional and tactically-driven approach to international affairs.

In the foreign policy realm, South Africa is challenged not only by its changing status, but also by the worrisome situations in neighbouring countries such as Mozambique, Eswatini and Zimbabwe. Yet another significant facet to South Africa's changing status is the constant and dynamic atmosphere on the African continent as the whole — the country's position is increasingly being challenged by other African states. The growing role of Kenya, Rwanda and Morocco in the international arena is rather noticeable.

Nevertheless, the country's relatively effective and developed foreign policy mechanism, as well as the president's role and involvement, are also crucial to maintaining the declared status of the regional leader. Although Cyril Ramaphosa's international role and reputation are positive, his involvement in the foreign policy realm is minimal due to the prioritisation of the aforementioned internal challenges.

Despite political and accelerating socio-economic uncertainties, South Africa is still a destination of leadership and the driver of economic growth in the region and on the continent, while Africa is becoming even a more attractive zone of strategic interests for old and emerging power poles. South Africa still offers ample opportunities and continues to attract attention of those seeking the rest of the African continent.

Historically Russia has had a long-lasting political relationship with South Africa. However, to date, economic collaboration between the countries continues to be very limited, and Russia places more weight on co-operation in international relations rather than on economic opportunities. Thus, the interaction with the countries of the African continent should be an important area, and not only of foreign policy activity. Here the Republic of South Africa is still considered the gateway of the continent.

Valdai Discusson Club
BRICS' solutions expected to solve major issues (Ожидается, что решения БРИКС решат основные проблемы) / China, January, 2022
Keywords: chairmanship, top_level_meeting

The 14th BRICS Summit, to be held in China this year, is expected to send a clear signal of solidarity and cooperation among the trade bloc's member states and to put forth BRICS' solutions to major regional and international issues, a senior Chinese diplomat said.

Ma Zhaoxu, coordinator of China's BRICS Affairs and vice-foreign minister made the remark on Tuesday while hosting a two-day BRICS Sherpas meeting via video link.

The meeting, which concluded on Wednesday, was the first official event held by China after assuming the rotating chair of the bloc on Jan 1.

BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Hailing BRICS as a key platform for mutually beneficial cooperation among the five countries, Ma said, "It has become a progressive force in facilitating changes in international order, improving global governance and promoting common development."

Amid the current complex and bleak environment, with a raging pandemic, headwinds against globalization and a widening North-South divide, Ma said, BRICS countries bear special responsibility to maintain the shared interests and room for development space for emerging economies and developing countries.

Ma said that apart from the Leaders' Summit, over 100 meetings at various levels and events covering more than 30 fields would be organized throughout the year to maintain the momentum of BRICS cooperation.

Commenting that BRICS cooperation is action-oriented and not a "talking shop", Ma said China would put forward a series of substantial cooperation initiatives and build outcomes along the lines of multilateralism, pandemic response and economic recovery.

He put development at the top of the 2022 BRICS agenda, emphasizing that it was the biggest highlight of the meetings that came amid severe impacts on economic and social development in developing countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He called on the five countries to strengthen strategic communication by fully leveraging various mechanisms.

"We will focus on the common interests of emerging markets and developing countries, gather strong synergy to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and bring tangible benefits to the people of the five countries and the world," he said.

Sherpas from other member countries at the meeting agreed with China's vision and expressed the willingness to fully support China's work and actively participate in BRICS cooperation in various fields.

Sanjay Bhattacharyya, secretary of India's Ministry of External Affairs, thanked China for "putting in a lot of hard work and meticulous preparation in sharing the comprehensive concept note and the calendar of events".

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said BRICS should strengthen communication with regional organizations, emerging markets and developing countries and that he hoped the bloc would have a strong voice at multilateral forums and on issues regarding making a better world based on international law.
Investment and Finance
Investment and finance in BRICS
BRICS Bank to Allocate Funds to Recreate the Historical Appearance of Kineshma (Банк БРИКС выделит средства на воссоздание исторического облика Кинешмы) / Russia, January, 2022
Keywords: ndb, investments

The traditional annual meeting of the head of the city with representatives of the media was held in Kineshma. It took place in a three-block briefing format. As part of the first block, the Russian statesman, Vyacheslav Stupin, spoke about the main events that took place in 2021, about the projects that were implemented, as well as about plans for 2022. During the second and third blocks, the head of Kineshma answered questions from journalists and residents of the city.

Answering journalists' questions, Vyacheslav Stupin spoke about the progress with the project "Comprehensive Development of the Territory and Infrastructure of Small Historical Settlements" implemented by the government of the Russian Federation and the New Development Bank (BRICS).

Kineshma entered this project back in 2019. The project involves the repair and reconstruction of engineering and transport infrastructure facilities, the development of public areas, the reconstruction and restoration of cultural heritage sites and other activities. The objects that should be included in the program were proposed by the residents of Kineshma.

"There was a lull in this program for several years, but a whole delegation of developers came to Kineshma. They assured us that the situation is currently revived and, allegedly, Prime Minister Mishustin is considering the allocation of funds for this program. By the way, in Kineshma, among others, the program includes such objects as the Kineshemka river embankment and a museum. The city should receive about 700 million rubles under the program. We sent all the source documentation for our projects to the developers.

Currently, the tender documentation is being prepared and on June 25, 2022, a tender is to start to determine the contractor who will be engaged in the development of all projects. At the same time, it is planned to start these works no earlier than January 2025 - this is a very long process, many different approvals are required. So now this is the prospect," added Stupin.
Russia and China to Develop SWIFT Avoiding International Financial Systems (Россия и Китай будут развивать SWIFT в обход международных финансовых систем) / Russia, January, 2022
Keywords: economic_challenges, political_issues

By Chris Devonshire-Ellis

Russia and China have agreed to develop shared financial structures to deepen economic ties in a way that will not be affected by pressure of third countries. The move will help both countries reduce the threat of the US government's long-arm jurisdiction based on the US dollar denominated. SWIFT international payment network.

Yuri Ushakov, Putin's foreign policy advisor, has stated that both countries intend to increase the use of their national currencies in mutual settlements and expanding cooperation to provide Russian and Chinese investors with access to stock markets, with Ushakov saying that "particular attention was paid to the need to intensify efforts to form an independent financial infrastructure to service trade operations between Russia and China. We intend creating an infrastructure that cannot be influenced by third countries."

The move is Russia's response to threats that the US could push to disconnect Russia from the Brussels-based SWIFT financial system as a form of sanctions, according to Li Xin, Director of the Center for Russian and Central Asia Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies.

Li said that while most bilateral transactions between China and Russia are still denominated in US dollars and traded through the SWIFT system, this means that the US can block any transaction between China and Russia or completely block the two countries from the international trade settlement system.

"This is why China and Russia need to establish their own financial information transmission systems to protect themselves from the US' containment," Li said.

Both China and Russia have independent settlement programs at various stages of implementation. China launched the Cross-border Interbank Payment System (CIPS) in 2015, an independent clearing system with the RMB as the quote currency. Similarly, Russia has been developing its own financial messaging System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS).

Both systems are now in position, making it relatively easy to build an independent Russian-Chinese financial system by linking the two. The next step will be working out which currency – the Ruble or the RMB – will be used as quote currency.

Once such system is launched, it is likely to become popular with other countries that wish to trade with Russia but are disenfranchised by the US, and specifically Iran, who has just signed trade agreements with China and Russia and has long-term strategic development plans with both.

Both countries are also in talks with the development of Cryptocurrencies and other non-SWIFT payment mechanisms with the BRICS grouping as well as the EAEU although technical and political difficulties still need to be resolved.

Chris Devonshire-Ellis is the Founder of Dezan Shira & Associates and Chairman of the firms International Board of Equity Partners & Directors. The firm has 28 offices throughout Eurasia, including China, Russia, India, and the ASEAN nations, assisting foreign investors into the Eurasian region.

Russia Briefing
Changing pattern of China's trade in 2021: trade with emerging markets gaining traction (Изменение модели торговли Китая в 2021 году: торговля с развивающимися рынками набирает обороты) / China, January, 2022
Keywords: trade_relations

Editor's note: Liu Chunsheng is an associate professor at the Central University of Finance and Economics. The article reflects the author's opinion, and not necessarily the views of CGTN, and this article was translated from Chinese.

China on Friday released its 2021 foreign trade data. In terms of RMB, the total amount of China's trade in goods reached 39.1 trillion yuan, up 21.4 percent year on year. In U.S. dollar terms, China's total import and export reached $6.05 trillion, exceeding $6 trillion for the first time.

The year 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of China's accession to the World Trade Organization. China has accumulated a lot of experiences in its opening up and achieved fruitful results. Against the backdrop of the pandemic, the global industrial and supply chains faced major tests. The latest figures show the resilience of China's foreign trade is once again demonstrated, which is of great significance to the stabilization and improvement of the Chinese economy and the recovery of the world economy.

Belt & Road trade up significantly

Compared with 2020, China's top five major trading partners remain Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the European Union, the United States, Japan and South Korea. Except for Japan, China's import and export trade with the above countries has all achieved a double-digit year-on-year growth rate. On the one hand, the total trade volume of traditional trading partners continues to increase, and on the other hand, China's trade with emerging markets saw many highlights.

In 2021, China's total trade with countries along the Belt and Road routes reached 11.6 trillion yuan, up 23.6 percent year on year. Belt and Road from initiative to construction is showing great vitality, and the concept of extensive consultation, joint construction and sharing are creating win-win results. Up to now, China has signed seven free trade agreements with 13 countries along the Belt and Road. Chinese customs strengthened cooperation with relevant departments at home and abroad, signed the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) mutual recognition agreement with 31 "Belt and Road" countries. The AEO recognition system gives each enterprise preferential convenience measures, and can significantly improve the two countries' cross-border customs clearance efficiency, compress customs clearance time, reduce trade costs. It will further facilitate trade among China and countries along the Belt and Road.

With the unique advantages of China-Europe freight trains, which mainly serve countries along the Belt and Road, the number of trains and goods across Eurasia increased rapidly. In 2021, 15,000 freight trains were departed from China, with 1.46 million standard containers being sent, up 22 percent and 29 percent year on year, respectively. China-Europe freight trains are becoming the most closely inter-connected transportation system to benefit China's dual circulation, smooth trade between China and Europe and connect countries along the "Belt and Road". China-Europe freight trains have become an iconic brand of "Belt and Road" construction, changing from an early "new choice" to a "stabilizer" for corporate cooperation and a "reassurance" for free trade.

Trade with RCEP members more promising

In 2021, ASEAN has become China's largest trade partner for two consecutive years. The China-ASEAN trade in goods has maintained a rapid growth of 5.67 trillion yuan, up 19.7 percent year on year. In 2020, the China-ASEAN trade index was 241.09 points, up 19.64 percent from 2019 and 141.09 percent from the establishment of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Zone in 2010. From the five dimensions of trade connectivity, trade quality, trade potential, trade vitality and trade environment, the manufacturing connection between China and ASEAN countries continues to strengthen, and China and ASEAN countries are jointly developing into the world manufacturing base.

As of January 1, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world's largest population and largest trade zone, had come into force in 10 of the 15 member states. From that day on, the immediate zero-tariff ratio between China, ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand has exceeded 65 percent of total trade. China and Japan have newly established free trade relations, and zero tariff rates will reach 25 percent and 57 percent, respectively. The goal of RCEP is to achieve zero tariffs on more than 90 percent of the goods trade among member states in the future. Therefore, both the trade creation effect and the economies of scale effect of countries in the region will be gradually released, which will surely become a new sample of multilateralism and economic globalization in the current international environment.

In 2021, China and other BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries generally maintained a relatively strong growth momentum. In April and May, the total trade between China and BRICS countries increased by 69.7 percent and 75.8 percent year on year, respectively, much better than in the previous quarter. Due to the continued recovery of Chinese trade with BRICS countries, the proportion of trade between China and other BRICS countries in China's total Chinese trade rose again to 8.2 percent in May, the highest point since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the vaccination rate increases, China's trade with other BRICS countries has a promising future.
World of Work
BRICS Сontemporary Art Event to Be Held in January (Проект, посвященный современному искусству БРИКС, пройдет в январе) / Russia, January, 2022
Keywords: social_issues, cooperation

In January, 2022 starts the International Meet BRICS Art project with the participation of Ural painters – members of the Association of Artists of Sverdlovsk Oblast – and their colleagues from different regions of Brazil, India and China. The events are enabled by the grant support of the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives.

The program includes a series of online meetings between professional artists from the BRICS countries and a 3D exhibition of their work. More than 100 amazing, diverse works of masters from the alliance countries can be seen by visitors getting acquainted with the peculiarities and elements of national identities.

The events will play an important role in expanding and deepening cooperation in the field of culture and art, in the development of intercultural dialogue strengthening mutual respect and rapprochement of the BRICS peoples.

"The Alliance has existed for more than 10 years, but only recently the issues of socio-cultural and humanitarian cooperation are reaching a new level. Both business projects and intercultural initiatives between BRICS members are actively developing today. Our project will showcase the unique cultural traits of the artists from the alliance countries. Through the prism of original cultures the public will experience critical issues of concern to all of us: love, family values, links between generations. We decided to use the possibilities of digital diplomacy to introduce these works to as many viewers as possible. This will allow us to get beyond the boundaries separating participants and spectators, unite them around the beautiful and the eternal," comments Anna Kurumchina, Director of the Agency for Cultural and Scientific Diplomacy.

Another goal of the Meet BRICS Art project is to promote regional art in Russia and abroad. Today, out of the 500 Ural artists, an insignificant part is exhibited abroad. To change the situation, new initiatives, strategies and technologies are needed that will overcome local constraints and introduce authors to a new audience.

During the online meeting, the artists of the Sverdlovsk region and their international colleagues will discuss current trends in the development of art in the post-Covid world. They will also consider the prospects for interaction between artists from the BRICS countries.

The project was initiated by the non-profit organization "Agency for Cultural and Scientific Diplomacy" and is supported by the Ministry of Culture and the Association of Artists of Sverdlovsk Oblast. The events will run until April 2022.
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